Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Mowing Wet Lawns - Pointers from Crabapple LandscapExperts

 Is it OK to mow the lawn if the grass is still wet? This question is coming up because of the amount of rain metro-Atlanta has been getting. Crabapple LandscapExperts prefer to mow when the turf is dry, but sometimes it is inevitable that the lawns we care for must be mowed when they are wet. Crabapple does think it is better to mow (even if wet)  than to wait and let the grass get too long.

When Mowing Wet Grass is Necessary                                                                               
Stacks of wet clippings
photo Extension.UMass.ed
CrabappleLandscapExperts' Pointers 
  • Acknowledge that wet lawns are slippery and technicians must take extra care
  • Sharpen lawn mower blades before mowing (like knives, a mower blade cuts best when sharp) 
  • Clean underneath the lawn mower deck 
  • Use silicon spray or oil to coat the cleaned underside of the lawnmower carriage so grass clippings won’t stick 
  • Set the mower height as high as possible 
  • Remove bagging and mulching attachments in favor of side-discharge 
  • Mow so the cut clippings are discharged onto the already-mown area
  • Before mowing, brush the lawn with a push broom, causing the water to roll off the blades and down into the soil  
  • Timing is everything; schedule mowing when the grass may have dried off a bit
  • After mowing, rake the wet clumps off of the mown lawn and then compost them 
  • Mow as often as possible to break up the clumps from earlier mowings 
  • Double-mow (mowing twice in the same day -- in the opposite direction) helps break up the clumps of clippings 
  • Pull the hand lawn mower instead of pushing it 
  • Remember that wet grass produces green grass stains from the chlorophyll in the leaves and wet grass is slippery

 Reasons to Delay if the Lawn is Wet
  •  Mowing while the grass is wet may tear the grass blades instead of cutting them.
  • The sticky, wet leaves of grass wrap around the mower blade, so the grass is shredded rather than cut crisply by the mower blade, weakening individual grass plants 
  • Torn grass blades facilitate the entry of pathogenic fungi and bacteria (lawn diseases) 
  • Wet conditions are also ideal for spreading bacterial and fungal spores   
  • Wet mowing can result in clumps and piles of grass clippings that don't sift down into the lawn properly. Although evenly-distributed grass clippings are healthy for the lawn (mulching mowers), piles of wet clippings can cause problems and need to be raked off
  • If the soil is really soggy, the mower wheels will sink unevenly into the wet soil, making the overall cut uneven 
  • Wet lawns are more slippery for the technician (or homeowner) to walk/work on

 Digging Deeper

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